Lowering PH


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Southern Maryland
1 year
My tap water is hard, with a ph of 8.2. That's absolutely fine for my main tanks and breeders. But I've just received a new tank from a friend with 4 African leaf fish, which prefer soft water between 6.0-6.5. I transferred the entirety of the old tanks water, and it registers right at 6.5. It's a heavily planted tank 55G with some driftwood.

My questions, how can I lower the ph levels so significantly? If I were to purchase a buffered substrate, could I fill some containers with the substrate and place them in the tank? I really don't want to change out the current eco complete and jack up all the rooted plants.

Also, I've been trying to avoid the RO route, and would like to avoid that, and the use of chemicals is a nogo.

Any ideas? Would my containered substrate work?


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To be perfectly honest, I'd buffer the water the best you can, and use plants to get a close to no water change system. You'll still have to water change a little every now and then, but it shouldn't be much, unless the leaf fish turn out to be large waste producers.

From my personal experience (and I know some people strongly disagree with me on this...), I don't think fish care nearly as much as we think they do about PH. I mean, sure, some species most definitely prefer a more basic PH, and some will prefer more acidic water, but I think if you kept your PH at or below 7.6, you'd probably be golden. The driftwood should help with lowering that a bit, and you could always invest in some peat moss or something, too.

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